“Madam, shop anything under the sun with just Rs.1000 and have a gift voucher of the same value absolutely free,” the lanky boy blinked and said in a nasal voice.
“Why not under the moon?” mildly smiled the lady. “Who trains you, my boy?”
“I’m self-trained. Yes…on Sundays, our boss trains us. But you know madam, only Sundays we are free. And I love a girl and we go out together, sit in a park, eat ice, plan our future, and next morning I’m fresh as a ripe banana!”
She went to upstairs and the boy followed.
“Yes, madam… which month? Oh…I recall. It was a Monday morning in early September. My boss called me in his chamber, asked why I broke his order, and he was ready to sack. How did I catch his ears do you know? I didn’t spare a single word, unzipped my sack, and offered him a dozen of ripe bananas, homemade, no medicine, pure as a virgin. He snatched them, and you see, I’m spinning around the floors!”
“This red sari,” she ordered.
“Madam, there are a thousand varieties of red, please check and then swipe. Hey! Fetch all the varieties and display before madam. Please relax! Waiter, yes madam, hot or cold?”
“I’ve no choice… only serve quick.”
“Waiter! Fly as a falcon! Mam, soothe eyes with the wonders we possess! Take as many as you like. It’s your home! Please drape before the mirrors and then collect!”
Madam bought a sari and had two vouchers of Rs 1000 each. She was elated as in her next shopping she would have to pay not single paisa if she bought fabrics worth Rs.2000 or less. “It’s a real deal, dear!” she shrieked herself.
The boy at the counter checked and begged, “Madam! Please check the vouchers. Visit again!”
The mall was meantime teeming with motley men, women, and children. An aged guard with a bamboo stick was tired to maintain the long queue of the shop-hoppers.
Madam somehow skirted the crowd and took a rickshaw and reached home. Rickshaw puller charged Rs. 20 extra. She was too happy to argue with the puller today. She jumped off the rickshaw and began to croon her favorite while unlocking the door.
The flat was coolly furnished. Her hubby, aged forty, spectacled, glued to the laptop. A stack of files scattered in and around the sofa.
“Rishi, Rishi it’s a big day! I’ve bought a sari and they offered two vouchers of Rs. 1000 each. Huge deal, dear! And my friends are hopping and shopping in spree! Next weekend we’ll go and redeem. Keep the vouchers carefully,” she threw the vouchers over him and waggled to the living room.
Tomorrow was scheduled for an urgent meeting with the boss. So Rishi worked till late night and painstakingly cleared all the files.
Madam shuffled a hundred channels, was bored, and hurriedly ate alone and reached to bed. She thought of the vouchers and her face brightened and sleep eluded for hours.
Next morning the cook came and swept the floor clean.
A week passed.
“Rishi, today we’re going to visit the mall. Come home early. I’ll wait for you,” lovingly she prayed and Rishi nodded.
In the evening both were getting ready.
“Darling, don’t forget the vouchers,” madam reminded while checking her finishing look before the mirror.
“Vouchers?” He scratched his head and began to rummage the corners, the shelves, the backpacks in vain.
“I can’t find them,” Rishi feebly said.
Madam became a wounded lioness and she tore him apart, “You are a fool! A worthless, good for nothing fellow! You should not marry. You forget groceries, dump kitchen with useless articles, can’t iron, and can’t even fold my saris.”
“Don’t ajar lips. It’s a sin! Not this is the first time! Yesteryear you did the same.”
“I keep it on the sofa. I clearly see it dangling from its edge. If the cook…,” muttered Rishi.
Just then cook rang the bell.
“Where are the vouchers?” fiercely asked the madam.
“Voucher? I hear the word first time in my life,” flatly retorted the cook. “Floor was littered with loose papers and I swept and put them into the bin. You pay me for both cleaning and cooking and I can’t neglect my jobs! From my parents, I learn the lesson of never betraying my mistress or master!”